Minnesota: Lawmakers question election security funding after Minnesota poll finder error | Stephen Montemayor/Minneapolis Star Tribune

Some GOP lawmakers are questioning a new round of federal election security money after an employee error caused the Minnesota Secretary of State’s online poll finder to link to a partisan liberal website on Super Tuesday. Republican state lawmakers sharply rebuked Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, for what he called a “lapse in judgment” by an IT worker who linked the state’s overloaded poll finder tool to a BoldProgressives.org web page. The link was active for 17 minutes on Tuesday before the office removed it. “How can an employee just redirect and get into IT and do all of this?” said state Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, a Big Lake Republican and former secretary of state, speaking at a Tuesday hearing in her Senate state government and elections committee. “It’s a very concerning issue, especially in this time of security — and ample money was given already in May of last year.” Kiffmeyer engaged in a monthslong standoff last year with Simon over $6.6 million in federal election security money approved by Congress. Minnesota law requires the Legislature to sign off on the funding before it reaches Simon’s office.

North Carolina: Super Tuesday vote counting problems in Warren County North Carolina | Will Doran/Raleigh News & Observer

Officials in a North Carolina county accidentally inflated the votes in one Super Tuesday primary election, but fixed the problem on Thursday. Tuesday’s election results are still unofficial everywhere in the state, and officials at the N.C. State Board of Elections will do audits all around the state regardless of whether voting results appear wrong. In one rural area, however, they have already found an issue and say it was due to human error. “It’s very important to note that the results on the election night reporting system are unofficial and this is ongoing,” Pat Gannon, a spokesman for the elections board, said in an interview Thursday morning. Warren County, a small community north of Raleigh on the Virginia border, has only 41 registered Libertarian voters. But on Tuesday the county reported more than 800 votes cast in the Libertarian presidential race.

North Carolina: How did Guilford’s new voting system work? | Taft Wireback/Greensboro News Record

The votes are in, and Guilford County’s new system of hand-marked, paper ballots came through its first, full-fledged test without any major snags. Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said the new equipment worked well in Tuesday’s primary and voters adapted successfully to the shift away from touchscreen voting to paper ballots. “There was some apprehension early in the process because it is something different from what you’ve been doing for the last 15 years,” Collicutt said Wednesday. Voters came out for Tuesday’s primary in robust, if not record numbers: 112,728 cast ballots, or about 31% of the county’s registered voters, Collicutt said. That’s 5% below turnout for the last presidential primary in 2016 when 122,897 voters participated, he said. Once voting got under way Tuesday, the only significant drawback came from delays by state government’s computer system in displaying Guilford’s results online, Collicutt said. “The big issue was how slow the state’s website was,” he said. “The upload was so slow.” Guilford County spent about $2 million for its new voting equipment to comply with changes in state law that require systems to leave a better paper trail than the touchscreen terminals Guilford had been using for years. The new system relies on printed, multiple-choice ballots that voters fill out in ink and feed into a tabulator at their precincts.

South Carolina: Richland County board votes to hire new elections director | Chrisa Trainor/The Post and Courier

After nearly nine months of searching, Richland County will look to Tennessee for its new elections director On Thursday night, the Richland County Election Commission unanimously voted to offer the director of elections and voter registration position to Tammy Smith, who is currently the assistant administrator of elections in Wilson County, Tennessee. Wilson County has a population of more than 136,000 and is just east of Nashville. Election commission vice chairman Craig Plank said Thursday that Smith would be notified of the board’s decision “as soon as possible.” Plank says he feels confident Smith will accept the post and that she “has expressed her desire to be an active part of Richland County.” The election commission chose Smith over the other finalist for the position, Terry Graham, the former Chester County elections director who has served as Richland County’s interim elections director since July 2019.

Texas: Long voting lines in Texas spotlight concerns about access to the polls | Elise Viebeck/ The Washington Post

The lines stretched in the dark across the plaza at Texas Southern University, as hundreds of would-be voters stood for hours Tuesday to cast ballots in the Democratic presidential primary. As they waited, students shared phone chargers, activists sent in pizza and exhausted voters resorted to sitting on the ground. The voting center at the historically black university in Houston was one of a number of such locations around Texas that were plagued by long delays on Super Tuesday, raising questions about the readiness of local election officials and spurring outrage among voting rights advocates. Many cited as a factor the closing of hundreds of precincts around the state after a pivotal Supreme Court decision in 2013. One of the remaining Democrats in the presidential field — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — seized on the episode, tweeting that it revealed a “crisis of voter suppression.” However, interviews with election officials, activists and voters pointed to a number of complicated factors that combined to produce the massive lines in Harris County. “There was actually a failure in the system at multiple junctures,” said Beth Stevens, the voting rights program director with the Texas Civil Rights Project, in an interview  “The effect is that you have black and brown people on college campuses standing in line for two hours, four hours, seven hours to vote,” she said.

Texas: Harris County’s cascade of election day fumbles disproportionately affected communities of color | Alexa Uren/The Texas Tribune

From the sunlit atrium of the science building on campus, former Vice President Joe Biden asked Texas Southern University for an assist. It was election day eve, and Biden was visiting the university just days after black voters in South Carolina had forcefully revived his presidential bid. That Biden had chosen to spend precious hours at Texas Southern ahead of Super Tuesday seemed to signal he hoped to make the historically black college and the community it represented a nexus between his last pivotal win and the next crucial test of his campaign. “Tomorrow, Texas is going to speak,” Biden said to a raucous throng of supporters surrounding him. “I think we’re going to do well here in Texas with the help of all of you. I’m asking you for your vote. I’m asking you for your support because I’ve got to earn it.

Texas: Bexar County’s new ES&S voting system ‘crashed’ 3 times, tying up race results, election chief says | Scott Huddleston/San Antonio ExpressNews

Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen said computers used to post results in a new voting system “crashed” three times, forcing election officials to post separate sets of numbers, rather than consolidating them as they had on past election nights. “We will be working today with the vendor to get the regular report that y’all…

Texas: Harris County Democrats waited for hours to vote. Two-thirds of polling sites were in GOP areas. | Zach Despart and Mike Morris/Houston Chronicle

Many of the 322,000 Harris County Democratic primary voters who surged to the polls Tuesday faced long lines that forced several balloting sites to stay open late into the evening. Though Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2 to 1 on Election Day, almost two-thirds of the county’s voting centers were in county commissioner precincts in west Harris County held by Republicans. And, in a decision that worsened delays, the Harris County Clerk’s Office placed an equal number of voting machines for each party at every voting center. That meant that in Democratic strongholds like Kashmere Gardens, where Republicans were outnumbered 30 to 1 during early balloting, Democratic voters languished in line while GOP machines sat unused. Adding to the frustration was a County Clerk website that is supposed to show wait times at poll locations. Numerous voters on Tuesday complained the website led them to a polling place showing a minimal wait only to stand for hours because poll workers failed to update the site. Housing advocate Chrishelle Palay said she saw two or three Republican voters while she waited two hours to cast her ballot in Kashmere. “People were confused and infuriated,” Palay said. “They were definitely upset at the approach and how the machines were set up.”

Texas: Voting delays in Fort Worth area blamed on machine set up | Anna M. Tinsley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Some Tarrant County voters waited in long lines — some that took an hour or more to get through — to cast their vote Tuesday in the presidential primary election. Officials said that was because the turnout at some sites was larger than expected, some sites were understaffed, and some voters are still getting accustomed to the new voting machines. But frustration grew on Super Tuesday when there was, for instance, a long line of Democrats waiting to vote at a polling site as several machines went unused because they were set aside for Republicans. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said he believes the problem can be avoided. “I hope we will take advantage of what technology offers us and share the machines between the two parties,” he said Wednesday. The catch is that early voting, which is run by the county, lets residents use any of the 600 voting machines set up to cast ballots in either the Republican or Democratic primary.

Washington: Senate committee reviewing Secretary of State’s election security bill | Northern Kittitas County Tribune

Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s election-security legislation, Senate Bill 6412, received a hearing in the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections Committee recently. The bill aims to bolster election security on four fronts — eliminate cyber threats by removing risky electronic ballot-return methods, improve third-party ballot collection, provide post-election security through statistical audits, and appropriate $1.8 million in order to draw nearly $9 million in federal matching funds to augment security. Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, is sponsoring the bill. “These critical election security improvements cannot wait. Cyber criminals are relentless, and in this upcoming, momentous election cycle, voters need to have confidence that our systems are secure and their information will remain protected,” said Wyman. “The race to secure our elections has no finish line, but Senate Bill 6412 propels elections officials in the right direction for 2020 and beyond.” Testifying in support of the bill was Kirstin Mueller, election-security issue chair for the League of Women Voters of Washington. “Over the last few years, detailed cybersecurity reports have been released, outlining what each state can do to improve the security of their elections. These reports have many recommendations in common – ensure a secure chain of custody of voted ballots, require paper ballots that voters have marked by hand or with the use of an assistive device, perform statistically based post-election audits that can catch and correct incorrect election outcomes, and keep all elements of voting and tabulation away from the internet. This legislation improves Washington’s election security in all of these critical areas,” Mueller said. “We believe this bill provides the right balance of access and security, and it protects organizations like the League, who want to help, by providing a way to track ballots.”

West Virginia: Secretary of State opts for different voting application for electronic absentee ballots | Chris Lawrence/WV MetroNews

The Secretary of State’s office will go with a different vendor as they work to expanded electronic absentee voting in West Virginia during the 2020 election cycle. Secretary of State Mac Warner has announced that for the upcoming primary election, West Virginia will use the Democracy Live electronic voting system after testing the Voatz app in the last election cycle. “They’ve been around for a decade. They’ve participated in elections throughout the United States since 2010 and they have a fully compliant A-D-A functionality in their system which allows a voter who is blind or visually impaired to mark their ballot without assistance,” Deak Kersey, general counsel for the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office said. West Virginia was part of a pilot program in 2018 and allowed members of the military stationed overseas to vote via the Voatz App.The Voatz App was on a mobile phone whereas Democracy Live is on a fixed server. According to Kersey, only 144 voters used the App in West Virginia’s 2018 general election and only 13 during the primary. It was a pilot project and a test.

National: Here are the serious tech glitches that frustrated voters on Super Tuesday | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

The scenario election officials feared – Russians hacking the vote – did not come to be on Super Tuesday. But the mega-primary day was bedeviled by a slew of serious technical glitches that frustrated voters. Voting machines shut down in Los Angeles. Network problems also forced California officials to hand out provisional ballots. In Minnesota and Texas, tools voters use to look up their polling locations were not functioning due to heavy web traffic. And there were robocalls spreading disinformation in Texas, which were reported for federal investigation. The problems underscored how such issues can sow as much distrust and chaos as a hacking campaign — especially if rumors are left to swirl. The government’s top cybersecurity officials spent much of the day assuring the public that technology was the culprit, not Russia. “To the extent we can put more information in the hands of voters to be more informed, resilient voters, we’ll have better outcomes,” a top official at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said during a 9 p.m. call. “We’ll be able to get ahead of these more salacious claims that something might be happening and put appropriate information in the hands of the public.” The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly with reporters, praised election officials for getting information about the tech problems rapidly to voters. “We’ll continue to shout that message up to November and afterward.”

National: There Is Shockingly Little Oversight of Private Companies That Create Voting Technologies | Alan Beard and Lawrence Norden/Slate

The Iowa caucuses debacle was a reminder of some of the most important principles in election security, among them that transparency in elections is important, paper ballot backups are crucial to ensuring an accurate count, voting should not take place on smartphone apps, and running elections should be left to professionals. But missing from the round-the-clock media coverage was another valuable lesson from Iowa: Private tech companies are central to our elections, and our failure to engage in real oversight of their practices leaves our elections vulnerable to breakdown and attack. The reporting in the aftermath of Iowa identified a 6-month-old private tech company called Shadow as the supplier of the failed app at the root of the mess. In an attempt to help precinct captains report out three separate sets of results, the Iowa Democratic Party had paid Shadow $60,000 to develop an app to convey the vote totals. Precincts would take and upload pictures of results, which would go to party headquarters. But on caucus day, the app failed, as did backup phone lines. This prompted many to ask how something as important as reporting vote totals in a presidential election could be left in the hands of a shoestring tech company. The follow-up question should have been: What are the controls on private vendors that sell the equipment and technology that run our elections?

National: Tornado, Virus Fears and Malfunctioning Machines Disrupt Super Tuesday Voting in Some States | Christina A. Cassidy and Adrian Sainz/Associated Press

Deadly tornadoes knocked out polling places in Tennessee, fears over the coronavirus left some precincts in California and Texas short of election workers, and overwhelmed voting systems led to long lines in Los Angeles as Super Tuesday sent voters surging to the polls in 14 states. Scattered reports of polling places opening late, machines malfunctioning or voter rolls being down temporarily disrupted voting in some of the states voting Tuesday, but there were no widespread reports of voters being unable to cast a ballot or security breaches. Just hours before polls were set to open in Tennessee, tornadoes tore through parts of the state, destroying at least 140 buildings and killing at least 22. With more than a dozen polling sites in Nashville’s Davidson County damaged, voters were sent to other locations, where some of them encountered long lines. The Tennessee Democratic Party and the presidential campaigns of Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren successfully sued Davidson County election officials and the secretary of state’s office to extend voting for three hours beyond the scheduled 7 p.m. closing time. In Texas, voting got off to a slow start in Travis County, home to Austin, because many election workers did not show up, with some citing fears of contracting the coronavirus, according to the county clerk’s office. The election office said it began implementing emergency procedures, with elections staff and other employees filling in as poll workers.

National: Bipartisan commission to make 75 recommendations to defend against cyberattacks | Maggie Miller/The Hill

A new report by a bipartisan commission will include at least 75 recommendations for Congress and the executive branch on how to defend the nation against cyberattacks, including bipartisan recommendations for defending elections. Members of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, which includes lawmakers, federal officials and industry leaders, highlighted the group’s focus on election security during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, previewing some of the recommendations that will be among those released March 11. Commission member former Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Penn.) said the report — which marks a major effort to create a blueprint for federal action on cybersecurity going forward — was “biased towards action,” and was meant to spur change. “It’s not some report that is going to be in the Library of Congress that no one is going to look at again,” Murphy said. “There is going to be some legislative action, there are going to be some executive actions.” The report’s recommendations around election security will mark a rare bipartisan effort to address the issue following years of contention on Capitol Hill after Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

National: Top DHS official says no ‘malicious cyber activity’ seen on Super Tuesday | Maggie Miller/The Hill

A senior official at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cyber agency said Tuesday night that they had not seen any “malicious cyber activity” aimed at disrupting elections during primary voting in 14 states. “We don’t have any reports of any malicious cyber activity across the states today,” the senior official at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) told reporters. The official noted that while there were some “sporadic” information technology (IT) issues, all the election systems were able to get “back up and running” with no issues due to targeting by hackers. One IT incident the official pointed to was in California, where the secretary of state’s website was briefly brought down by what the office tweeted was “higher than normal traffic” and not hacking activity.

Arkansas: ES&S iVotronic voting machines linked to problems, count delay in Jefferson County | Dale Ellis, Cynthia Howell, Emily Walkenhorst/Northwest Arkansas Online

Voting machine problems in Jefferson County delayed the vote count in both city and county races Tuesday night after poll workers in several locations were unable to close out the machines because of electronic failures. Technicians from the election commission had to manually close the machine at each affected location. The iVotronic touch-screen voting machines have been in service for about 15 years. Michael Adam, chairman of the Jefferson County Election Commission, announced shortly before 9 p.m. that final results would be delayed. The results were announced after 10:30 p.m. The primary got off to a rocky start during early voting when a ballot error in the Democratic Primary affecting four precincts that had the wrong state Senate race on the ballot was discovered over a week into early voting and after 152 voters had cast ballots in the wrong race. The four precincts, located in the city of Pine Bluff, were programmed with the Senate District 25 race between incumbent Sen. Stephanie Flowers of Pine Bluff and Efrem Elliott of White Hall, but should have been programmed with the Senate District 27 race between Keidra Burrell of Pine Bluff and former Rep. Garry Smith of Camden.

California: Los Angeles County’s new voting machines hailed for accessibility, dogged by security concerns | Neena Satija and Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

For the past decade, Los Angeles County has been promising to develop a new voting system that was to be a model for the nation, accessible to voters with disabilities and to a population that speaks more than a dozen languages. As the first publicly owned voting system in the United States, it would also ease the grip that a handful of private companies have long held on how Americans vote, supporters of the effort said. After the 2016 election, amid fears of foreign interference, the promise of Los Angeles’s grand experiment was even more enticing as states and counties scrambled to replace their aging election infrastructure with more secure options. More than $280 million later, on the eve of the California primary, Los Angeles County’s Voting Solutions for All People system — a combination of mail-in ballots and new custom-made electronic voting machines — is being celebrated as a major step forward for voting accessibility. At the same time, though, it has been dogged by security concerns and allegations of a flawed ballot design, according to a government contracting firm that examined the system, advocates for election security and some local candidates. A December report commissioned by the California Secretary of State’s office said the system did not meet several of the state’s cybersecurity and accessibility standards, which were to be “woven directly into the DNA” of the new system, according to the development contract. As early voting began last week, more than two dozen polling locations opened hours or a full day late because of missing equipment and problems coordinating election workers.

California: Los Angeles County voters encounter hours-long waits and glitches with brand-new system | Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles voters who showed up to cast ballots in person on Tuesday reported long wait times and operational errors at a number of the county’s newly designed vote centers, experiences that suggested an inauspicious beginning for L.A.’s first fully redesigned election system in more than half a century. While some Angelenos gave high marks to the new voting machines and applauded the extended hours of operation, a number of the in-person locations were overwhelmed by the throngs of voters looking to participate in the most talked-about California presidential primary in at least a generation. The flow of voters had hardly ebbed by the official end of voting at 8 p.m. Those in line at that time were allowed to stay there until they had a chance to vote. “This is absurd,” said Jefferson Stewart, a software designer who left the vote center at the Westchester Family YMCA frustrated after waiting 90 minutes to cast his ballot. “If the idea is to make this simpler, it’s gotten much worse.” Brentwood resident Myles Berkowitz found himself in a state of perpetual motion. He stopped by UCLA’s Hammer Museum around 4 p.m. but left after being told that it would be a three-hour wait. Three more locations, three more long lines. He ended up at the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center in West L.A. “They’re telling me, after waiting here for another hour and a half, that it’s another two hours,” Berkowitz said Tuesday evening as he stood in line. “This is like gridlock on the 405,” he said.

California: Voters say Los Angeles County’s fancy new voting machines aren’t working | Rebecca Heilweil/Vox

New voting machines making their debut on Super Tuesday in Los Angeles County are already raising concerns about unreliable technology. While the system is meant to modernize voting and make democracy more accessible, some voters are complaining about technical glitches and usability. That’s not great news, since LA represents a massive election district in the state with the most delegates up for grabs in the Democratic primary. Today, the Los Angeles Times reported that election officials were having issues with their systems linking up with California’s voter database, which meant that the registration system wasn’t tracking who had already voted or incorporating new registration information. This is a big problem, since California passed a law last year that allows for voter registration on election day in an effort to enfranchise more voters. Meanwhile, many voters have complained on Twitter that their voting machines weren’t working, with some reaching out to election officials on the platform for help. There were also complaints that the machines were not taking voters’ paper ballots, which need to be inserted back into the machine. Several people also said that the e-poll books weren’t working.

Georgia: Clarke County says no to Georgia’s new voting machines | Doug Richards/11alive.com

The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections voted Tuesday night to reject the state’s new voting machine system. The board voted 3-2 to use hand-marked paper ballots instead for the duration of the presidential preference primary. Georgia rolled out its new computerized ballot-marking devices for the first time statewide when early voting in the primary began Monday.  Voters in Clarke County used them Monday and Tuesday. But the board “found it impracticable to … protect absolute ballot secrecy while allowing sufficient monitoring” of the computerized voting system in Athens’ early voting site, according to a statement issued by elections board chairman Jesse Evans. 11Alive News heard similar complaints during a visit to a south Georgia special election in February.  Voters said the large, bright and upright computer touchpads were visible to other people and poll workers inside precincts. Election officials told us the devices were difficult to position inside polling places in such a way that also assured that poll workers could monitor voter activity according to state law. That’s required in order to deter tampering with the machines.

Georgia: Investigators find no evidence to Kemp’s hacking claim | Mark Niesse/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia investigators found no evidence to support Gov. Brian Kemp’s allegation just before Election Day in 2018 that the Democratic Party tried to hack election information, according to a report released Tuesday by the attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s office closed the case that Kemp had opened when he was secretary of state, overseeing the same election he was running for. Kemp made the hacking accusation two days before the election.Kemp, a Republican, defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams by about 55,000 votes.No election information was damaged, stolen or lost, according to the attorney general’s report. Nor were any crimes committed by the person who reported vulnerabilities with Georgia’s election registration websites to the Democratic Party and an attorney who is suing the state.Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams said Kemp made “outright lies” to attack his political opponents and help his election.“More than a year after the sitting secretary of state leveraged baseless accusations against his political opponents, we’re finally receiving closure on an ‘investigation’ that has been a sham from the start,” said Williams, a state senator from Atlanta. “As we have since well before these outright lies came to light in the first place, Georgia Democrats will continue to do everything in our power to fight back against voter suppression. A spokeswoman for Kemp said his office did the right thing by asking law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and GBI, to investigate.

Michigan: Swing state status could put Michigan at risk for Russian election interference | Paul Egan/Detroit Free Press

With the March 10 primary one week away and Michigan seen as a battleground state in November, voters and election officials should be on guard for Russian and other foreign interference, experts say. Threats range, they say, from false information posted online about when and how to vote, to “fake news” Facebook posts intended to increase division and reduce voter turnout, to actual attacks on voter databases and other election-related infrastructure. But they say, residents should be mindful that one of our greatest vulnerabilities is ourselves. Ben Nimmo, an international internet sleuth whose work helped Facebook and other social media platforms ban thousands of accounts that spread disinformation during the 2016 election campaign, said it is the hyperpolarized nature of the U.S. political scene that makes the country more vulnerable to disinformation campaigns, which are increasingly difficult to detect. “Disinformation operations tend to target anger and fear,” said Nimmo, who is based in Scotland as director of investigations for the social network analysis firm Graphika. “If you see a post on social media that makes you angry or afraid, take a step back and ask, ‘Why is someone trying to manipulate me?’ “

Texas: ‘The worst voting experience’: Long lines drag Super Tuesday deep into the night for some voters | Mike Morris, Samantha Ketterer, and Nicole Hensley/Houston Chronicle

Dozens of Democratic voters were still waiting to cast ballots at midnight in Houston, turning Super Tuesday into a painful slog for some citizens amid questions about how the County Clerk’s office had allocated its voting machines across the county. Janet Gonzalez left work early and at 5:30 p.m. checked a website the clerk’s office runs to show wait times at polling places. It seemed Texas Southern University had a short wait, but when she arrived she found a massive line. She waited an hour outside and three more inside before she finally cast her ballot. Officials with the clerk’s office acknowledged the accuracy of the wait-times website is reliant on election workers manually updating the status of their polling places. Some people in line gave up and walked away, Gonzalez said. Others briefly sought refuge on a scattering of chairs before giving them up to others as the line inched forward. Polls closed at 7 p.m., but voters still can cast ballots as long as they stay in line. “It was a challenge,” Gonzalez said. “You have to look around at the elderly people and overcome your own pain.”

West Virginia: State will NOT use controversial voting app Voatz during primary elections | Internewscast

West Virginia has announced it will not be using the voting app Voatz app after researchers found it is ‘riddled with vulnerabilities’. The US state employed the technology in 2018 to troops overseas and was also set to implement it in the upcoming primary elections for residents with disabilities  However, the flaws, uncovered earlier this month by MIT engineers, give hackers the ability to alter, stop or expose how an individual users has voted. Secretary of State Mac Warner said on Friday that disabled and overseas voters will now use a service by Democracy Live which lets them log in to fill out a ballot online or print an unmarked ballot and mail it in. West Virginia has announced it will not be using the voting app Voatz app after researchers found it is ‘riddled with vulnerabilities’. The US state employed the technology in 2018 to troops oversease and was also set to implement it in the upcoming primary elections for residents with disabilities  The US state was set to employ Voatz following a new bill that requires counties to provide certain individuals with a type of online ballot-marking device that can be used with a smartphone.

National: Super Tuesday brings a supersized election security challenge | Eric Geller/Politico

Millions of voters across the country will cast ballots during Super Tuesday on old, insecure election equipment — even after nearly four years of handwringing and warnings about Russian election interference. The jurisdictions at risk include three of Tennessee’s biggest counties — Shelby, Knox and Rutherford — where the paperless voting machines at the polls will include devices with security flaws so alarming that voters tried suing to have the equipment removed from precincts. Dozens of small counties in Texas are also sticking with risky touchscreen machines that have no paper trail to help detect tampering or malfunctions. And in California, Los Angeles County is debuting new voting machines that have drawn scrutiny for security weaknesses, as well as their developer’s past alleged ties to the Venezuelan government. The news is better in other parts of the Super Tuesday map, as some counties and states have successfully replaced their old paperless voting equipment with more secure paper-based machines. But even some of this new technology presents vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to tamper with the primaries. Other states holding primaries on Tuesday, including Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, predominantly use the technology that most experts consider the most secure: paper ballots that voters fill out by hand.

National: Coronavirus And Super Tuesday Voting: It’s Touchy | Pam Fessler/NPR

Elections can be very tactile. Touchscreen voting machines, paper ballots, large crowds. With concern growing about the spread of the coronavirus, officials in a number of Super Tuesday states are taking extra precautions to assure voters that it’s safe to go to the polls. Millions of people are expected to cast ballots tomorrow in 14 states, including some where cases of the disease have already emerged. John Gardner, the assistant registrar of voters in Solano County, Calif. — where two health care workers tested positive for COVID-19 — says they’ve added an extra curbside location where people can drop off their completed ballots, “so voters don’t have to get out of their cars if they don’t want to.” Gardner says they have also sent out additional supplies of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves to every polling site in the county. Still, he’s seen no indication that the virus is discouraging either voters or pollworkers.

National: Some states encourage mail-in ballots as coronavirus worries grow | Alice Miranda Ollstein/Politico

Officials in some states with upcoming primaries are encouraging more people to avoid in-person polling sites amid heightened worries about the spread of coronavirus in the United States. Some are even increasing the opportunity for drive-by voting on Super Tuesday. California’s Solano County, the site of the country’s first identified case of the virus’ spread within the community, added new curbside sites where people can drop off their ballots without having to leave their cars. “If you can stay in your car to get service, lots of people want to take advantage of that even in a normal situation, but especially when they might be concerned about congregating in close proximity to a lot of other people,” said county election official John Gardner. Meanwhile, some election experts are urging states to relax their absentee voter policies in light of the new public health threat, though some state officials dismissed the idea of hastily rewriting election policies.

National: Officials fear coronavirus could be next front in election interference | Joseph Marks/The Washington Post

U.S. officials fear adversaries might weaponize public fears about coronavirus ahead of Super Tuesday to spread disinformation, amplify rumors and tamp down voter turnout. The concern comes as people test positive for the virus in numerous states, including California, Texas and Alabama – which are among the 14 states that will hold their Democratic primaries Tuesday. The virus, which has killed nearly 3,000 people worldwide, could offer a near-perfect test case for how operatives from Russia or elsewhere seeking to undermine confidence in the election could boost public fears to stop people from heading to the polls – maybe enough to swing a tight race or at least raise doubts in the results. It’s “one of a number of scenarios” of potential interference federal officials are monitoring, the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity division chief Chris Krebs told Kevin Collier at NBC News. Krebs’s office declined to comment this weekend when I asked for more information about the possible response. “This is a new and obviously very scary virus, and misinformation can leverage off of that,” Peter Singer, a fellow at the New America think tank who has written extensively about information warfare, told me. “I would almost be surprised if we don’t see it.”